J-PAL Africa Project Incubation Fund

The J-PAL Africa Project Incubation Fund supports researchers in carrying out exploratory research work on policy relevant questions in South Africa. The aim of the funds is to both seed randomised evaluations and build capacity to implement these in South Africa. J-PAL Africa works closely with those awarded funding, offering study design and in-field support.   The goal is for the pilot work to lead to the development of a research proposal for a full randomised evaluation of the programme or intervention of interest.  

2017 Round

The following is a list of pilot studies supported by the J-PAL Africa Project Incubation Fund from the 2017 round of applications.

Firm Hiring Project

This pilot study, motivated by Martin Abel, Patrizio Piraino and Rulof Burger, seeks to understand the choices that firms make with regard to hiring workers and the efficiency of the different methods of employee recruitment. Using experimental techniques and insights from the South African labour market, the researchers aim to explore this topic further. 

2014 Round

The following is a list of pilot studies supported by the J-PAL Africa Project Incubation Fund from the 2014 round of applications.

Thula Baba Box

In this pilot study, researchers Ronelle Burger and Rulof Burger assess two different maternal and child health interventions: (i) the impact of free access to health products provided in the Thula Baba Box on maternal and infant health and (ii) the impact of earlier and more frequent antenatal care visits on behavior and health outcomes.

Hope Soap

In this pilot, researchers Justine Burns and Brendan Maughan-Brown test an intervention aimed at motivating children to wash their hands more frequently by making hand washing fun and engaging, specifically by placing a toy inside a translucent glycerin bar of soap.

Pre-paid Electricity

Researchers Kelsey Jack and Grant Smith conduct a pilot study to understand the use of prepaid electricity meters in the City of Cape Town. Prepaid electricity meters offer a number of benefits to both customers and to the utility provider. However, maximizing benefits requires a more thorough understanding of the channels through which customers benefit, the magnitudes of the benefits, and what complementary technologies can further improve electricity access for all.

Encouraging Youth to Register to Vote

Researchers Kate Orkin, Daniel de Kadt, Adam Berinsky and Daniel Posner undertake a pilot to test whether providing youth in South Africa with a clearly expressed motivation for why they should vote, delivered face-to-face, will improve their political knowledge about the importance of voting and their rates of registration and voting. Researchers will also test which kinds of messages are most effective.

Contact: For more information about the J-PAL Africa Project Incubation Fund, please contact Nilmini Herath.